Archive: Yes, please. Let me know if you take it, OK?
Teaser: Heph invents roller skates!
Disclaimer: The characters are not mine. They belong to Studios USA or
Whoever owns the Rights to Xena: Warrior Princess.
Aphrodite lay in the center of her giant bed curled on her side. Her thick blonde curls cascaded down her back and smelled from sweet perfume. And she wore a new pink nighty, one that would make even Xena blush. But it was all for nothing, because Aphrodite was alone in her plush chamber.
For the thousandth time, she glanced at the sand falling through the hourglass on her dresser. Only a few seconds passed since she had last checked the time. The Love Goddess sat up, her fists clenching into fists. "How can he treat me like this? He's supposed to be my husband, yet he acts like that dirty old forge is his wife!"
Leaping out of bed, Aphrodite threw on a pink robe, which covered her up only a little. She examined herself in the mirror. What was wrong with her? She thought Hepheastus had loved her! Yet night after night he never came home and she was left to herself. "Some Love Goddess I am! One that lacks a love life! I hope my worshippers never find out."
Aphrodite popped out and appeared down in the mortal world, at the base of a steep volcano. The stars shone brightly above her and under normal conditions she would have admired their beauty, but only the dark cave mouth before her held her attention. She hated visiting her husband's forge and always avoided it, not that he ever invited her. It was dark and dirty, the air filled with smoke and nasty fumes. Holding her head high, she stepped inside. A blast of super hot air hit her face and the rock beneath her feet thumped with the sound of the bellows. The sounds grew louder and then she could see the fire of the forge. "Hephy? Are you in here?"
A hunched shape separated itself from the forge and turned to face her. Hepheastus' face was covered in black grime, as was both hands. His eyes widened in surprise at seeing his wife, the white of his eyes being the only clean part on him. His dreadlocks fell to his shoulders and swayed with his steps. "Honey, what are you doing down here?"
"You haven't been home for the past five nights!" Aphrodite cried, her arms over her ample bosom. "All you do is make things down here!"
"But Honey, that's my job." Hepheastus explained as he turned to his nearby workbench. He picked up an object and held it out before her. "Look what I just invented! Isn't it great? It'll change the mortal world!"
Aphrodite leaned forward, blinking. She frowned and gave him a perplexed look. "It's a boot with wheels on."
"Exactly!" Hepheastus grinned broadly as he held the wheeled boot. "Isn't it incredible? Remember how you said your feet hurt when you were a mortal because you had to walk every where? Well, now mortals can ROLL every where they go! No more foot pain!"
"But what about ME?" Dite asked. "don't you love me any more?"
"Oh, of course I love you!" Hepheastus quickly said as he moved closer. "You're the most beautiful thing in my life and I know I'm not worthy of you. It's just that when I start working I loose track of time. Sometimes I even forget to eat ... say, when did I eat last? I can't seem to remember...."
Aphrodite shook her head. "I guess five days ago...."
"Boy, I better eat something!" Hepheastus started to put his wheeled boot down, then paused. 'But I need to test this new invention, too."
"Oh, I'll test it!" Aphrodite snatched the wheeled boot from his hands. It was one of the most stupid things she had ever seen, but if testing it got him home, she would do it. She waited a few minutes while Hepheastus gave her the other wheeled boots; three pairs all together. Then he popped off to their chamber. The Love Goddess was tempted to just dump the silly contraptions onto the floor and pop home, but she knew they were important to her husband. But who will she find to test them? She certainly wasn't going to wear them herself. No way! They were not ladylike at all and clashed with her pink outfit!
"And my answer is still NO. I'm not going to test those odd boots for you, Sis. Sorry." Hercules leaned back against the log and stretched out his legs. Why did his family - his Godly side of the family - have to cause problems? He glanced at his best friend, Iolaus, who rested across the campfire from him.
"But Hercules, you HAVE to help me! Hephy gets into these moods and he totally forgets he's married to me! He hides all the time in that nasty old Forge of his. I never see him anymore! And I could, if you'd just test these boots!" Aphrodite wailed to her brother. She flashed her long lashes. "Please? For me?"
"Aphrodite, I'm tired and it's dark outside." Hercules sighed as he handed the wheeled boot back to her. "I spent all day saving a village from some hideous monster and had to catch my own dinner. I'd just like to sit here and relax, get some sleep."
"You won't help me?" Aphrodite asked, her face drooping with sadness.
"I'd like to help you, but those things are just ridiculous! I'd break my ankle if I'd try to walk with them on." Hercules explained. "Their just not ... usable."
"Aww, Dite! I'm sorry if Hepheastus is mistreating you." Iolaus added, trying to help Herc out. He held one of the wheeled boots in his hands, turning it over. The boot itself was what one expected from Hepheastus: the finest craftsmanship around. The leather was expertly tooled and shaped, plus it would magically fit any foot. But those four metal wheels on the bottom were another story. Who would be crazy enough to go around wearing boots with wheels on them? "But he was always nervous around women. I guess he just never outgrew it. But I don't think testing these boots is going to solve your problem with Hepheastus."
The Love Goddess turned to Iolaus. "Will you test them? I know you could do it? Please? For me?"
"Sorry, Dite, but it's just not possible." Iolaus demonstrated by placing the boot on the ground. He pushed it and it fell over. "See? The ground is too rough for these small wheels. Every stone, pebble and blade of grass would knock you over. You'd need a very, very smooth surface to use these boots and well, that just doesn't exist here. Sorry."
"But they'd roll on a smooth surface?" She asked, an idea already forming in her head.
"Yeah, they should." Iolaus said. "But I still don't see why anyone would want to wear them. Herc is right. These boots would be very dangerous!"
"Ah, you got to live a little! Have some fun!" Aphrodite collected the boots and stood up. "I'll be right back!"
Iolaus watched her pop out in a sprinkle of red hearts. "Uh oh. I think I said the wrong thing."
"Yep. Let's make tracks!" Hercules leaped to his feet and started running into the woods. After Iolaus tossed dirt onto the fire and stomped it, he hurried after his friend. He liked his legs in one piece, so no way was he going to test those boots!
"Hi Ar!" Aphrodite grinned as she appeared in her brother's temple.
Ares stood in a fighting stance with his sword raised. His opponent was a skeleton dressed in a battered helmet and also holding a sword. Without missing a beat, Ares swung the sword at the skeleton, the sword slicing cleanly through its middle. The various bones clattered to the smooth floor. As the bones started to reassemble themselves, Ares held out his hand. "Don't bother to get up."
The skeleton slumped back onto the floor.
The God of War turned his attention to his sister, his eyebrows raising at her clothing. "Going around in your nightie, Sis? And what's with all the boots?"
"These are Hephy's latest invention." Aphrodite exclaimed as her eyes drifted down to the smooth stone floor of Ares' temple. Her lips curled upward into a brilliant smile. "Ar, you got to help me! I need to test these new boots for Hephy and we need a smooth floor."
"Oh no you don't!" Ares protested loudly, a snarl on his face. He knew how devious his sister's mind was. "There will be no rolling boots in MY temple! You go roll around in your own temple!"
"I can't, Ar! I got plush pink rugs!" Dite protested. "And these need smooth floors! Iolaus said so!"
Ares' mood darkened even further at the mention of his half-brother's best friend. He waved his sword at the Goddess of Love. "Get out of here with them boots or I'll slice them up! This temple is for Warriors, it's not a roller-boot rink!"
"OOH! You make me so mad! I just want some time with Hephy and I can't unless I get these boots tested!" Aphrodite pointed a finger at Ares and a pink beam shot out at his feet. Instantly his regular black boots disappeared only to be replaced by the roller-boots. His feet slid out from underneath himself and Ares waved his arms around frantically. But it was no use and he fell to the floor, landing on his back.
"I'm going to get you for this!" Ares promised her, a dark glint in his eyes. He crawled to his knees and tried to stand up.
The Goddess of Love waved her arm and two very startled men were teleported into the temple. Both Hercules and Iolaus had been caught in mid-stride when Aphrodite had yanked them out of the woods. And just as quickly she had replaced their regular boots with roller-boots.
"Whoah!" Hercules cried as he found himself gliding forward at a very fast speed, his wheels moving smoothly on the floor. Ares had just managed to stand up, his knees wobbling unsteadily as each foot wanted to go in a different direction. The War God lifted his gaze off his feet just in time to see his hated half-brother racing right at him! Hercules slammed into Ares and they instinctually grabbed at each other to keep from falling. But Hercules' speed was strong enough to push Ares so he was skating backward.
Meanwhile Iolaus saw he was headed right for the skeleton lying prone on the floor. Imagining what tripping over the bones would do to his knees, Iolaus leaped up into the air. He flew over the bones and landed with a loud bang of metal wheels. He laughed gleefully when he realized he was still on his feet and moving forward. "I did it! I did it!"
Aphrodite clapped her hands and giggled, bouncing on her feet. "You go, Iolaus!"
"How do you stop these things?" Hercules yelled at his sister as he clung to Ares. The demigod never dreamed in his mortal life he would EVER be cling to Ares and here he was doing it! Without doubt, it was the most bizarre moment of his life.
"Stop?" The Goddess of Love asked. "But you guys are having so much FUN! Why would you want to stop?"
"Because we're about to hit a wall, that's why!" Hercules shouted at his birdbrained sister. And then they did hit the wall. Ares' leather clad back slammed into the wall, crushing Herc's hands in the process. But instead of falling to the floor or going through the wall as Hercules had feared, they just bounced off and started rolling back the way they had came.
"Oh pooh! Don't tell me you two are scared of a little wall! Why you two have totally demolished walls in fights!" Aphrodite rolled her eyes and sighed. She thought fondly of her giant shell and wished she could join in the fun. But her shell was made for sliding down the side of a snow-covered mountain, not gliding across the floor. Yet, those boots looked like SO much fun!
"HEPHY! Get down here! I need you!"
"Huh?" Hepheastus appeared in a flash in striped PJs, his eyes only part way open. He rubbed at his eyes with his fists, blinking. He glanced around Ares' temple, confused. "What am I doing here?"
"Hephy, I want one of those rolling boots!" Aphrodite told him as she clutched at his shoulders, trying to shake him awake. "Ares is holding a Rolling-Boot Party!"
"He is?" Hepheastus turned around, his mouth dropping open in shock. "And he's Roller-Dancing with Hercules! And here I thought Ares was always such a grouch."
Ares snarled at his Godly brother.
"Well, I'll go get another pair for you." Hepheastus told his wife.
"And make them PINK!" Dite squealed with excitement. She couldn't wait to join in the fun! She wiggled her fingers and pink sparkles appeared in the air, swirling around the room to music. Now Aphrodite was very glad her husband was the God of Making Things, for finally he had made something she was interested in! A few moments later he appeared with the requested pink roller-boots and Aphrodite slipped them onto her feet. With grace, she rolled across the floor and she too was a RollerGod.